The Midsummer Classic Hits LA! Or, A Rob Lowe Drinking Game Is Born!

These Vintage Photos of Baseball Teams Will Make You Want to Play Ball | Reader's Digest

In honor of the MLB All-Star Game in Los Angeles, Imma hold an awards ceremony with some serious -ish. Personally, I think hosting a bunch of stars in LA is incredibly redundant, but whatevs. All that really matters is that the Rob Lowe Drinking Game is gonna be a thing. Every time FOX cameras fix themselves on his lovely mug . . . Shot! The over/under in Vegas is currently sitting at 42, so yanno, plan accordingly.

Let’s Coo Coo Ca Choo, shall we?

Shohei Ohtani Is on the 2021 TIME100 List | TIME

The player I would name my stadium after . . .

Admittedly, I’m utilizing a Ruthian interpretation in an age of sponsored sports venues, but love is love, yanno? There are so many great young players in the MLB and I could have devoted this entire post just to them. But Rob Manfred ain’t gonna pay me for it so there’s that.

So I thought about how Mike Trout is the valedictorian just about every season, with his A plus game and looks straight out of central casting. Juan Soto’s sweet swing and inimitable skill set is most likely going to fetch him half a billion dollars in some town. Fernando Tatis would be on every other electronic billboard if he played in a big market. And Aaron Judge is a larger than life presence who has delivered more objects into orbit than NASA.

All these dudes are the right answer. To someone. But the fella I’m giving the keys to the joint to is Shohei Ohtani. Because he is a double threat the likes of which a sport that is nearly one-hundred and fifty years old has never seen before. He hits homers at an MVP clip whilst shutting down the opposition with an arm that turns out more lights than a bartender. He’s not simply sharing the rarified air of a guy named Ruth, he’s . . . . baseball gods forgive me . . .  exceeding it.

The St. Louis Cardinals Unveil Fauxback Jerseys, Drop Navy Road Cap - Viva El Birdos

Every fan’s crazy for a sharp dressed team . . .

When considering which MLB team sports the coolest duds, there’s a long list to choose from. The standard bearers keep it simple and clean. Clubs like the Royals, Dodgers and Giants sport the fresh, classic look in their home jams. Teams like the  A’s and Orioles remain modern day throwbacks. And really, more than half the league keeps it cooler than cool with their (non-alternate) uniforms.

Above all others, it’s the St. Louis Cardinals home whites that do it for me. It’s joined at the hip with the town it calls home.

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Winners and losers come and go, but baseball names are forever . . .

The MLB has always had a funky thing going when it comes to its tenants. From Buttercup Dickerson, Phenomenal Smith and Dizzy Dean to Sugar Cain, Razor Shines and Coco Crisp. Yeah, I could do a couple of posts on baseball names and not even come close to the finish line.

Today’s MLB is no different when it comes to cool names. You got Buck Farmer and Scooter Gennett. Then there’s Mookie Betts and Jurickson Profar. And I can’t forget about Chance Sisco and Ozzie Albies. But for my money, the winning name in today’s game goes to Tampa Bay’s Wander Franco. It’s science fiction meeting Kinsella in a novella.

PNC Park Top 5 Traits - Bucs Dugout

Baseball stadiums separate the sport from all other professional leagues. And on this count at least, it’s not even close.

Unlike the other sports, baseball possesses no uniformity from one home to the next. Each team’s stadium is uniquely its own in some kind of way. From the Green Monster of Fenway to McCovey Cove in San Francisco to the fountains of Kansas City. And that’s not even to mention how cool so many of the game’s cribs truly are.

But for my money, PNC Park in Pittsburgh is the end all. Some day, the Pirates are going to field a team deserving of the stadium they play in. Hopefully that day comes before they raze the thing and replace it with a multi-use arena that houses six Starbucks stores and an IKEA. Until such time, Imma appreciate this gem on the Allegheny.

Aaron Judge ties Roger Maris' franchise record ahead of All-Star break as Yankees thump Red Sox | Fox News

Of course I couldn’t go through an entire baseball awards-ish post without mentioning the team with the best record in baseball: My beloved New York Yankees.

There is no boast to my toast. Just a hopeful nod to the fall, where the wins are much harder to come by. See, Rob Manfred and his conniving cronies can’t steal the essence of the game from those of us who are old enough to know what stirrups and pepper games are.

October plays for keeps. Maybe the Yankees finish what they started, but it’s no fate accomplished. Not with the Astros standing in the way. Or maybe it’ll be the Sawx again, or the Jays for the first time in a while. And there’s a better than even chance it could be the Mets or Dodgers, Padres or Cards. And hell if I’m not leaving out the current hottest team in baseball: The Seattle Mariners. They haven’t been to October since 2001. Back then, the Yankees played spoiler by knocking off a Seattle squad that had toted the best regular season record into that series. And maybe there’s a Mariners fan or two who remembers all that and would love nothing more than for their team to return the favor. The only sure thing is that there ain’t one.

Only Longfellow knows for certain.

40 thoughts on “The Midsummer Classic Hits LA! Or, A Rob Lowe Drinking Game Is Born!

  1. A spectacular narrative on baseball’s our National pastime which I know zilch about ( but as a very young child, note very my father knew Charlie Hough and his brother Richard so does that not give me any credibility? Anyways I enjoyed your rundown of baseball’s finest. Have a lovely dear Marc.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What got into the Mariners? That streak snuck up on me. I do want to get across the state and see a game at PNC. I also suspect I will do so before they have a team truly worthy of it. With the extra wildcard, our Phillies look like they’ll have a chance at the dance this season. I still think the Astros will give the Yankees all they can handle in the AL. Not sure who prevails in the NL. Best uniforms? I stick with the throwbacks opposed to the new alternates. There are some way-out alternates out there right now, although I kind of liked the Giants “city connect” uniforms.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Seattle is a great sports town that nobody really talks about because of their locale. But they loved their Sonics (Kevin Durant lived their in his rookie year) before the team jumped to OKC. They really ARE the 12th man for the Seahawks. And I remember how the fans used to blow the lid off the old Kingdome in the days of Johnson and Griffey and yes, A-Rod.

      The Phils getting Bryce back soon? And what happened with Joe G? I thought he was going to work out for them.

      I think the AL comes down to Houston, New York and who knows? The NL looks like the Dodgers, but money doesn’t buy titles in the sport. It buys contention, but not titles.

      You like those? I actually dig the Rockies and Marlins City Connects.

      Liked by 1 person

      • The Sonics were stolen from Seattle and I wish they’d get them back. The old Kingdome absolutely rocked and I could watch the Yankees-Mariners playoff films over and over. Bryce is supposed to be back mid-August. Joe G just “lost the room.” Some of the younger guys should have been playing and weren’t getting more than mop-up duty. His leaving actually resulted in the team being able to learn more about the younger guys on the team. I do like the Giants connects, and you’re right…the Marlins were pretty good also. I liked the concept art on the Rockies, but would have liked the same purple. Love their regular unis.

        Liked by 1 person

        • It was such a beautiful marriage, the Sonics and the town they called home.

          As a Yankees fan, the M’s of the mid 90’s were a torturous adversary. I thought they were going to be the team that made a run.

          I wonder if Joe will get another shot or if he’s a relic of the way skippers used to coach them up.

          I agree on the Rockies main unis.

          Liked by 1 person

  3. A swell rundown, even if it is for baseball. 😈 Sorry. It’s so hot I must be the ‘tiniest’ bit of a crabbish cow. Maybe I’d feel differently if the Rockies weren’t my home team although I just realized they aren’t currently in last place-what a shocker. In all seriousness, hope you enjoy watching the All-Star game with a nice frosty one (or two).

    Liked by 2 people

  4. B,

    As you know, me and baseball are not on overly familiar terms. Though, with your help, it does get better 😉
    I thank that is a very vail drinking game. You best call in late for work now…

    That Shohei Ohtani is in a league all his own, isn’t he? Spectacular stats. I mean, I loved Juan Soto’s swing but he almost seems like a one-trick pony next to Ohtani!

    Lemme Google the duds ;-). Obviously, the best ones WERE the Expos but, gotta stop living in the past, I guess… That said, I have to say your choice is pretty damn good. The Cardinals do have a nice one.

    Honestly. Is this the sport with the coolest nicknames, or what? Better than the boxers, tell you what 😉

    That is definitely a beauty of a stadium. Especially that view. Wowzers.

    And, not for nothing, I’m rooting for your Yankees.

    Q

    Liked by 2 people

    • Q

      In your case, it’s quality over quantity. You are all IN on the Expos and that is a home run call in my humble opinion.

      Let’s say I do the drinking game, manana? 😉

      Everyone is a one trick pony next to the Shohei Kid. And he’s already making a big impression on the yutes! Two of the top twenty players taken in the MLB draft are, you guessed it, two-way players.

      The Expos goes to the top of the list when the MLB finally gets its head out of its ass and gets a team in Montreal. The suits have been talking up adding two more teams, so the hope is there for sure.

      Haha! I love the nicknames. And the names in general are very funky.

      So many great cribs in the MLB. And Rob Manfred somehow doesn’t figure out a way to show them off more? Disgraceful.

      You da sweetest.

      B

      Liked by 2 people

      • How sweet are you? I’ll tell you how much… VERY! And chyeah! Go Expos!

        Since the game is tonight and you gots ta work early… best we do it tomorrow. well, you more than me 😉 I have to at least try to be good.

        I bet he is. How can he not? So there are two more potential Shohei? Whoa.

        They keep talking and talking and talking. So many want baseball to come back to Montreal.

        They are great! And talk about original!

        I would have to watch more than one game per year and scope ’em out.

        Thanks to you 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  5. A fitting post around the Midsummer Classic. Oh …. an annual event that I haven’t watched in a long time. I’ve been up almost an hour and still don’t know the result. I expected your well-deserved tribute to Shohei Ohtani. Cardinal home uniforms are classic! The game needs more knuckleballers! Your Yankees continue to roll – but no mention of the best record in baseball losing the series (and somehow not being swept) by the worst team in baseball. Oh … long live the Savannah Bananas!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice post and I agree with you about PNC, it was a great park to watch baseball in. I recently did 7 baseball games in 7 days in 7 different ballparks. NYY – WASH – NYM – PHIL – PITT – CIN – CLEVE. And of all the parks, PNC was my favorite. The best game was NYY vs HOU on 6/26, a walk off in the 10th two win it. It was a great game from Altuve’s first pitch homer to left to Judge’s three-run shot to center right and everything in between. Last night’s game was better with the sound OFF, which is the beauty of being there in person. I’ve got 12 ballparks to go and a couple of makeup cities to count all 30 ballparks and cities. Thanks and have a great day. Peace.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow!

      You are rocking it on the baseball stadium tour!

      I’ve been to both iterations of the New York Stadiums and I miss the original Yankee Stadium very much. I wish they’d kept it.

      I’ve also been to the two most recent parks in Philly and Pittsburgh. I like Citizens Bank very much, but not nearly as much as PNC.

      Same with Baltimore. I love the Yards but there was a definite homefield advantage for the O’s at Memorial Stadium.

      The new Comiskey Park? Nope.

      My favorite minor league stadium . . . I think it’s the minors, was Durham Park, where the Bulls play. Just because of the movie.

      Liked by 1 person

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